Snail Finger Puppets

A snail is never far from home, no matter where they roam. Patch’s new show Home invites children to explore their environment from a different perspective and imagine worlds beyond the familiar.

These learning activities prompt discovery, empathy, problem-solving and imagination.

Activity 1: Snail Finger Puppets

Transform your finger into a crawly creature and explore the world from a new perspective…

Big Ideas: Other living creatures see and experience the world in different ways than we do. How might it feel to be a snail?

You will need:

  • 1 full length pipe cleaner

  • 1 short (half) pipe cleaner

  • 1 finger

    (make the snail on your non-dominant hand)

  • Some slow music to play

  • An indoor or outdoor space to explore

How to:

Step 1. Twist the long pipe cleaner into a spiral. Leave a ‘tail’ at the end.
Step 2. Twist the end around your finger. This is your snail shell.
Step 3. Bend the short pipe cleaner into a ‘U’ shape.
Step 4. Twist the ‘U’ shape onto your finger. These are your antennae.
Step 5. Your snail is ready to explore the world! Put on some slo-o-ow music and let your snail move and explore their environment (inside or outdoors)…

Reflect & Respond

  • How did your snail move? 

  • What was it interested in? 

  • What was it afraid of?

  • Write, draw or act a response 

Activity 2: Homes for Snails

Find and experiment with different objects to create a shell for your snail…

Big Ideas: Everyday objects can be transformed by imagination and experimentation. 

Objects have physical properties that can be observed and described.
These properties make them better or worse suited for specific practical and creative purposes.

You will need:

  • 1 short pipe cleaner

  • materials for attaching
    (wool, tape, more pipe cleaners, etc)

  • 1 learning space (home or classroom)

  • 1 finger
    (make the snail on your non-dominant hand)

How to:

Step 1. Take the pipe cleaner and bend it into a ‘U’ shape.
Step 2. Place this on the end of your finger and twist to attach. These are your snail antennae.
Step 3. Now your finger is a snail! Whatever you put on its back will be its home. Look around your environment and choose an object for your snail’s ‘home’...
Step 4. Now attach your object to your snail. Does it work? Is it a good home?

Notes For Growns-ups

Let children explore the space and choose their own interesting objects.

Supply a range of attachment materials and give children time to fiddle, experiment and figure out how to attach their chosen object. Encourage them to help each other when needed.

Are there objects that cannot be attached at all? If so, why?

Invite children to identify and analyse the physical qualities of their ‘home’ and attachment materials.

Reflect & Respond

  • Was your ‘home’ too heavy? Too big? Too floppy? 

  • Or just right? Why? (Shiny, round, soft?) 

  • Compare the size, shape, and texture of different objects

  • Which ones worked best?

  • Try again with a new object

  • Create a different creature using the same materials  

Australian Curriculum Connections

Early Years Learning Framework

Learning Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

  • 2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.

Learning Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners

  • 4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.

Learning Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

  • 5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes

  • 5.3 Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media

General Capabilities

  • Critical & Creative Thinking

  • Personal & Social Capability

  • Literacy

Cross-Curriculum Priorities


Primary Learning Areas

The Arts: Drama (F-3)

  • Strand: Making

    Exploring ideas and improvising with ways to represent ideas 
    Experience and explore purposeful and imaginative role play (ACADRM027)
    Use empathy in improvisations 

Science (F-4)

  • Strand: Science Inquiry Skills
    Evaluating: Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS213, ACSIS041)
    Communicating: Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways
    (ACSIS029, ACSIS042)

  • Strand: Science Understanding: Chemical Sciences
    Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
    Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018)
    Different materials can be combined for a particular purpose (ACSSU031)
    Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties that can influence their use (ACSSU074)

More activities to try

Shadow Tableaux Create shadow tableaux in groups, capturing scenes and exploring relationships.
Try It
Galaxy Jar Create your own miniature galaxy in a jar.
Try It
Storytime with Temeka: All the Ways to be Smart Find a comfy spot to share the affirming and award-winning Australian picture book All the Ways to be Smart with Patch pal Temeka.
Try It